Dougie Freedman claims Bolton's long-term potential persuaded him to end a long and successful association with Crystal Palace.

Freedman left the south London outfit last week to succeed Owen Coyle at the Reebok Stadium, despite Wanderers lying 16th in the npower Championship and Palace riding high in fourth.

Saturday's loss at Middlesbrough dropped Bolton - many observers' favourites to earn an instant return to the Barclays Premier League - to 18th position with 15 points from 13 outings.

Former Scotland international striker Freedman scored more than 100 goals across two spells with Palace spanning 10 years. He then led them to the League Cup semi-finals after famously beating Manchester United in his first full season as manager last term.

But the 38-year-old insists he has moved to further his career with a club geared towards top-flight football.

"It was a decision I made for the long game," Freedman said when addressing his first press conference as Bolton manager on Monday afternoon.

"I've got a long-game strategy where I feel this club will give me the tools that will get us to the Premier League.

"Crystal Palace have been fantastic for me. I was there as a player and as a manager and I've got a real bond with the fans.

"I feel that I owed this opportunity to myself and my family. It's not really what they (Palace) are lacking, it's what Bolton have got.

"I don't feel embarrassed or ashamed to say that promotion is the key to the season."